Tribpedia: Department Of Agriculture

Tribpedia

The Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) is the state agency charged with overseeing agricultural business and collecting statistics on crops and livestock. The agency was established by the Texas Legislature in 1907.

TDA is based in Austin, Texas and has five regional offices, four satellite offices, seven laboratories and six livestock export facilities.

The commissioner of agriculture, who is elected ...

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Bill Could Bring Dairy Farming Back to El Paso

Seen is livestock from Licon Dairy, on Feb. 19, 2013 outside of Fort Hancock, Texas in Hudspeth County. The dairy farm, which was previously in El Paso County, has 42 acres and approximately 40 heifers.
Seen is livestock from Licon Dairy, on Feb. 19, 2013 outside of Fort Hancock, Texas in Hudspeth County. The dairy farm, which was previously in El Paso County, has 42 acres and approximately 40 heifers.

Dairy farming has been banned for a decade in El Paso County and a sliver of Hudspeth County because of concerns over bovine tuberculosis. State Rep. Mary González, D-Clint, hopes to bring back the $41 million-per-year industry to her district by repealing the ban and forming a commission to study the disease in the region. 

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is abandoning the use of hot-iron branding and moving towards the use of ear tags for the identification of cattle.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture is abandoning the use of hot-iron branding and moving towards the use of ear tags for the identification of cattle.

Beef Stakes

Texas Weekly

The Texas economy is churning out record job numbers, but the $7.5 billion cattle industry isn’t doing too hot — or rather, it’s too hot.

Victor Elizando and Noe Obregon rest in the shade during a visit to the farmland Obregon used to tend before the USDA's discriminatory loan practices put him out of business.
Victor Elizando and Noe Obregon rest in the shade during a visit to the farmland Obregon used to tend before the USDA's discriminatory loan practices put him out of business.

Drought Deepens Worries Over Aging Farmer Population

The U.S. is losing a generation of family farmers that may not be replaced, according to national agriculture statistics. And as Mose Buchele of KUT News reports for StateImpact Texas, the drought may be exacerbating that trend in Texas.

Left to right: Leland Stukey Kelly Young, J.O. Dawdy and Kirby Lewis photographed in Floydada, TX, on Mar. 8, 2012.
Left to right: Leland Stukey Kelly Young, J.O. Dawdy and Kirby Lewis photographed in Floydada, TX, on Mar. 8, 2012.

Texas Farmers Battle Ogallala Pumping Limits

As the Ogallala Aquifer slowly declines, some West Texas farmers are facing a new type of regulation: a limit on the amount of water they would pump from wells on their own land. And many aren't happy about it.

L to R:  Ruth Sagehorn and Virginia Schuerman look at entries in the citrus fruit exhibit at the Citrus Fiesta in Mission on Saturday Jan 28th, 2012.
L to R: Ruth Sagehorn and Virginia Schuerman look at entries in the citrus fruit exhibit at the Citrus Fiesta in Mission on Saturday Jan 28th, 2012.

Greening Disease Threatens Texas Citrus

With greening disease infecting some Texas citrus trees, some growers fear the infections could spread and seriously damage their industry.

Texas Department of Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples, holds up copy of recently released independent copy of Texas border security during press conference at Texas Capitol on September 26th, 2011
Texas Department of Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples, holds up copy of recently released independent copy of Texas border security during press conference at Texas Capitol on September 26th, 2011

Staples and Generals Call Out Feds on Border Security

The former head of the U.S. Armed Forces Southern Command said Monday that if the U.S. does not provide more support to Mexico, that country's next presidential administration may have no choice but to make a deal with cartel leaders.

Texas Commissioner of Agriculture, Todd Staples - August 29, 2011.
Texas Commissioner of Agriculture, Todd Staples - August 29, 2011.

Todd Staples: The TT Interview

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The Texas commissioner of agriculture on the "catastrophic" devastation he's seen from the worst one-year drought in recorded Texas history, what the feds and state are doing and what needs to happen to cope with a potential multiyear drought. 

Commissioner of Agriculture Todd Staples at TribLive on  May 12, 2011.
Commissioner of Agriculture Todd Staples at TribLive on May 12, 2011.

Audio: Todd Staples at TribLive

At last Thursday's TribLive conversation, I interviewed Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples about the impact of drug-fueled violence on border farmers and ranchers, what he thinks about the Senate's two-thirds rule, his nascent campaign for lieutenant governor in 2014 and more.

Federal USDA workers inspect Mexican cattle for fever ticks before admitting them into the country. If a single tick is found, the entire herd must be quarantined and sent back to the rancher.
Federal USDA workers inspect Mexican cattle for fever ticks before admitting them into the country. If a single tick is found, the entire herd must be quarantined and sent back to the rancher.

Slideshow: Fever Tick Inspection in Laredo

TribWeek: Top Texas News for the Week of 3/7/11

Conversations about the coming Hispanic majority and the 82nd session from our New Day Rising symposium, M. Smith on the latest tort reform battle, Galbraith on greater scrutiny of the gas industry, Ramsey on whether lawmakers will cut their own pay and benefits, Ramshaw and Aguilar on what's holding up abortion sonogram legislation, Aguilar on the ag commissioner's controversial new website, Philpott on what $9.8 billion in public education cuts looks like, Hamilton on a snippy exchange of higher ed letters and Grissom on the latest court decision in the Hank Skinner case: The best of our best content from March 7 to 11, 2011.

Cross-Border Trucking Program Could Begin Again

A proposal by the Obama administration that would grant Mexican truckers greater access to Texas roadways would be a boon for business in the state, supporters say, since three of the top five ports for trade between the U.S. and Mexico are Laredo, El Paso and Houston. But unions contend the plan would cost American jobs. “This cheap-labor program comes at too high a risk and at too large a cost to middle-class American workers who work long, hard hours to help maintain a safe commerce system in our nation,” says a spokesman for the Texas AFL-CIO.

UT/TT Poll: Perry 50, White 40, Glass 8, Shafto 2

Republican Gov. Rick Perry leads his Democratic challenger, Bill White by 10 points — 50 percent to 40 percent — in the latest University of Texas/Texas Tribune poll. Libertarian Kathie Glass has the support of 8 percent of respondents; Deb Shafto of the Green Party gets 2 percent. In the last UT/TT poll, conducted in early September, Perry led by 6 points, 39 percent to 33 percent. In a red state in a red year, GOP incumbents in other statewide races are beating their Democratic opponents by between 13 points and 20 points, the new poll found.

TribWeek: Top Texas News for the Week of Sept. 27, 2010

Thevenot on the fastest-growing charter school chain in Texas, Hu on the continuing legal fights between tort reformers and trial lawyers over the state's windstorm insurance pool, Hamilton on the push for accountability in Texas colleges, Philpott on legislative skirmishing over federal education funds, Grissom on misdemeanor convicts choosing jail time instead of probation that's more expensive for them but cheaper for the state, M. Smith on Bill Flores' challenge in what's billed as the hottest congressional race in the country, Ramshaw looks at scandals that have put some otherwise safe statehouse incumbents in deep electoral trouble, yours truly on the closest and ugliest race on the statewide ballot and Galbraith and Titus on pollution from idling vehicles and why it's so hard to control: The best of our best from September 27 to October 1, 2010.